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  • Writer's pictureWyatt Bose

The hottest seat in sports

On June 27th, the Los Angeles Lakers drafted LeBron “Bronny” James Jr. with the 55th overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. One week earlier, the Lakers also hired a new head coach: 15-year NBA veteran, ESPN analyst, and podcast host, JJ Redick. Redick was drafted in 2006 – three years after his soon-to-be player, LeBron James. James and Redick have a great relationship both on and off the court, but it doesn’t appear that many people are envious of Redick’s position.

Every week from the Summer League until the end of the season, the media will ask the Lakers’ first-year head coach questions like, “When is Bronny going to play?” and “Have you considered putting Bronny and LeBron in the same lineup?”

Redick is a pro's pro and he’ll surely be ready for the media’s firestorm, but patience comes and it goes. When the Lakers are winning, the media will not be an issue. When they’re losing, however, Redick might not respond with the same equanimity.

Redick knows what he signed up for: the hottest seat in all of sports. He is a first-year head coach whose resume starts and ends with the 4th-grade boys' team at Brooklyn Basketball Academy. Before the Lakers hired him, Redick co-hosted “Mind the Game,” a podcast with LeBron James, who seemingly had his fingerprints all over Redick’s signing and Bronny’s draft selection. LeBron has denied affiliation with both moves, and Redick even corroborated James’ impartiality at his introductory press conference.

“LeBron and I did not talk about the Lakers job until Thursday afternoon – about thirty minutes after I was offered the job – and that was very intentional on both our parts,” said Redick. 

He continued, “I knew I had an understanding that he did not want to be involved in this, and for me, I did not want to go down the path of hypotheticals with someone that I consider a friend and someone that I have a great amount of respect for.”

It’s hard to believe LeBron did not want to be involved in the hiring process for (likely) his final coach in the NBA and certainly for his son's draft destination. Despite his alleged disinterest in both the head coaching search and draft process, the Lakers hired Redick, LeBron’s friend and former podcast co-host, and drafted his son within a week of each other.

Nevertheless, Redick will coach the Lakers next year and has already received support from guys on the team beyond James and Anthony Davis. The most noteworthy being D’Angelo Russell, who just opted into the final year of his contract after expressing his excitement to play for Redick.

Recently, the Lakers expressed interest in pursuing Warriors’ free agent Klay Thompson, who is not expected to re-sign with Golden State. Reports have surfaced that LeBron would be willing to restructure his contract if it meant improving the Lakers’ roster, which would likely be necessary if LA pursued Thompson.

With the past, present, and future of the Lakers franchise up in the air, Redick’s seat is hot, but he’s the right guy for the job. He is respected around the league as someone who loves the game and understands it better than most.

Beyond the X's and O's, Redick will now be tasked with managing 39-year-old LeBron James, 19-year-old LeBron James Jr, and everything that comes along with those two on the same team. From the eager Lakers fan base to the relentless Los Angeles media, Redick will have his hands full. Oh yeah, and he'll also have to find some time to coach the Lakers.

Pressure makes diamonds, right?

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1 Comment

Jul 02

Oh this will be a fun year to watch the circus in LA!

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